Saturday, 28 February 2009

Green Corner: Page 21

Page twenty one of Green Corner has been published.

Please visit the Green Corner website to see the update.

Enjoy :)

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Friday, 27 February 2009

Art Post: Aena Cringing

I've been working on page 21 of Green Corner lately, and this image of Aena cringing is the first part of the page that I worked on digitally. It's also the only figure on this page that I didn't use pose reference for.

In the final page, this instance of Aena is mostly obstructed by the desk in the bookshop, but I wanted to share the whole figure here. For a more current progress image of the page, please vote for Green Corner on TWC.

Here's the image with flat colours:
And fully shaded (with pain waves):

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Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Art Post: Sketches for Green Corner Page 21

I've been sketching different figures today for page 21, which is one of those pages where there's more body language than action. This can be a little challenging when it comes to framing, to ensure that there's enough interest for the page while not sacrificing the most important aspects of the body language.

These sketches probably look a bit strange out of context, and Zalanda (on the right) will likely be flipped for the final. I used some pose reference for these, as my earlier sketches didn't have the right energy.The gist of this page is that Zalanda mocks Aena for being clumsy, to which Kasha objects with "That's not a very nice thing to say." It's Kasha's remark that Aena and Zalanda are reacting to here.

Obviously there are some mistakes that I'll be correcting in the digital version of these, but they're reasonably tight pencil sketches. There's something about Zalanda's expression and pose that reminded me again of my influence from Dan DeCarlo. I read Archie comics when I was a kid, but I'm not really sure when my illustrations started to show the influence of Dan DeCarlo's style. I think it's become more obvious in recent years, and now I tend to gravitate towards drawing female characters who look somewhat innocent yet flirtatious.

I always find it interesting to contrast Aena and Zalanda. The characters are sisters, but even if their physiques were more similar, they carry themselves in drastically different ways. Zalanda often poses in a way that exudes confidence and an unspoken, yet obvious "look at me." Aena is playful and energetic, but she can also be subdued as she is here. Aena has a greater range of emotion that she shows, so I have a lot of fun drawing her and experimenting.

Zalanda tends to be a bit more restrained with her emotions, and she will seem rather one-sided in the comic for the most part. If I haven't drawn her in a while, I also tend to find her more challenging, because her figure is extremely curvy, and I'm more accustomed to using proportions that are more natural (like Aena).

I hope you like this hint at what's to come for the next page of Green Corner.

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Sunday, 22 February 2009

Art Post: Alice and the Garden

As I mentioned recently, I've been working on an image of Alice looking into the garden for my Alice Project. You can see Alice alone in my "Alice Looking In" art post.

Here's the composite image with the garden (click the image to enlarge):

My timer wasn't on while I drew the garden, but I estimate that it took near 10 hours to complete because of all the details and tweaking. The roses, topiaries, arches, pointy trees, and columns are original symbols that I created. The scattered leaves and sand were default symbols that I re-coloured.

I realize the leaves look kind of shiny on screen, but the highlights will be more subtle in print. I still need to convert the garden to greyscale and crop the image to add it to my Alice Project book. It was nice to work in colour this time, and it gets me thinking about possibilities for the book cover.

I will be formatting this image to sell as prints over on RedBubble. When it's available for purchase, I'll mention it here. Enjoy :)

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Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Importance of Branding in Web Design

It should go without saying that a company's official logo should always be a part of their corporate website. However, there are businesses that appear to overlook the importance of including the corporate logo and/or fail to realize the importance of having a website that is branded appropriately.

A website is the virtual face of your business and can easily be a visitor's first exposure to your business. Ensuring that your website is branded appropriately means that the website will unmistakably be associated with your business. Just as it is important to have consistent corporate branding for print collateral, it's important to maintain that consistency for your website.

A good practice in choosing a colour palette is to balance it around the colour version of the corporate logo. This can mean pulling colours from the logo, choosing colours analogous to those, and choosing colours which complement the logo. The palette should enhance the logo. It should also be appropriate for the company's industry and target audience. Remember that your logo and corporate colours need to be an integral part of the web design. Your website should strengthen your corporate image.

What if your logo only utilizes very bright colours? Your website colour palette does not have to consist of only bright colours. Keep your target audience in mind. Children are more receptive to bright colours than adults. However, it is important to keep in mind that text content should always be easy to read. Ensure that there's enough contrast and that type is sized appropriately.

If your business caters to a more professional audience, but you want to include some bright colours, it's best to use them sparingly. This allows the bright colours to make more of an impact and gives breathing room to other content. White space is not a bad thing, and visitors will generally prefer a site that gives some time for their eyes to rest while perusing content than a site which demands attention in too many places simultaneously.

Similarly, if you have a great deal of text content on your site, try not to have too many other items that can distract visitors from your content. If your site is about content, let the content shine. You don't need a plethora of bells and whistles to have a great website. If something seems to distract from the real purpose of your website, think twice about including it.

And what about extra features on your website? Don't forget to give those attention too. If visitors can see it, it should be easily identifiable as being associated with your business. That means the company blog needs to be branded. It doesn't mean that you need to replicate a site design for the blog, but they do need to work together.

Obviously, it's important for your corporate identity to carry across print and new media. But don't forget that there are things that are better suited to print than they are to new media, and things that are better suited to the screen than print.

Don't be afraid to ask your web designer why they think a certain route will work better for you in web design. Be glad if they raise concerns; it means they want the best for you. It is ultimately your business and your choice in how it's represented, but it's always wise to be receptive to the experience of your web designer. Even if you decide you want something to be done differently from what was suggested by the web designer, keep their concerns in mind and let them know that you prefer a different route.

Your website is an important vehicle for strengthening your corporate identity, and can easily attract new business. Take advantage of the opportunity to enhance your image; don't forget about branding.

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Friday, 20 February 2009

Art Post: Alice Looking In

I've just finished this illustration of Alice, this time creating black and white as well as colour versions. You can see the progress below from sketch to greyscale digital, to colour digital. I made some changes to Alice's hair for the digital, for consistency with my character design. I also added teeth in the digital.

Time for the digital was just under three hours, with about 20 minutes extra for changing from greyscale to colour (I re-coloured with live paint, not live color).

For my Alice Project, this illustration will be obscured with the garden in front. This was an interesting pose, and I was a little concerned about making sure Alice looked childish enough, and not too curvy in her hips. I think it turned out pretty well, and I really liked adding colour to this one. Alice is a very vibrant and expressive character, so she's a lot of fun to draw. I think that colour only enhances her.

I hope you enjoy the images.

The pencil sketch

The greyscale vector

The colour vector

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Thursday, 19 February 2009

Art Post: Suko with a Rose

This is a pencil sketch of Suko from Green Corner. The model for the pose was Andrew, of FDF.

I thought this was a very interesting pose and instantly thought of Suko for this one. I plan to use this as a basis for a future vector illustration.

I know there's a little awkwardness with his right arm and hand, so I'll try to fix that in the digital. I'll probably make some adjustments to the clothing as well. It was tricky to approximate the folds in some parts, so I'll work on them some more.

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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Art Post: Down the Rabbit Hole

I've been working on and off on a personal project for a while that I've been referring to as "The Alice Project." It's a short booklet featuring excerpts from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland accompanied by my original illustrations. The interior pages will be black and white, and I'm planning for a colour cover. When it's finished, I'll be selling printed books as well as e-books.

Part of the reason I started the project was to have another multi-page piece to add to my portfolio. This project allows me to show my abilities as a designer as well as an illustrator. It's a challenging project, and I will be using reference for the majority of the illustrations. I'm also using this project as a means to be more adventurous with my pose and angle choices for figures.

The following are my drawings of Alice for the first chapter, I hope you enjoy them.

Falling Alice

Alice Looking Up

Reaching for the Key

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Friday, 6 February 2009

Freebie: Art Nouveau Vector

Download Illustrator 10 ai (contained in a zip archive)

I created this vector tracing in 2003, for a college project. Original artist was Aubrey Beardsley, but I'm not sure which book I used as a source. The original had more details.

Free to use in personal or commercial projects. Not to be sold. This vector is not to be claimed as the work of anyone else. Please credit me, Emily Gonsalves, wherever possible as the creator of the vector.

If you use the file, I'd love to know how it was used. Feel free to e-mail me about it. Hope you enjoy it!

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Hi! My name is Emily.

Welcome to my art blog. I am an independent graphic designer and illustrator from the Toronto area. I create print and web solutions for a variety of businesses and individuals with a personal touch and conscientious approach.

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